Having a duly written last will can give you peace of mind knowing that your hard-earned wealth shall pass on to your designated heirs upon your demise. On the other hand, a will that is poorly created can be a subject of dispute.
Will contestation is a formal objection to the document’s validity on a number of grounds. A will can be contested by a family member, close friend or a business partner who has legal standing to dispute the document. Here are common reasons why your will may be contested.
When the will is illegal
Each state has specific laws regarding the testamentary requirements while creating a will. For a will to be valid in Virginia, the testator must be an adult (18 and above) and of sound mind. Additionally, the will must be in writing and signed in the presence of at least two disinterested witnesses who must also append their signatures on the document. A will that does not meet these, as well as other, testamentary requirements can be contested on grounds of illegality.
When the will is fraudulent
A will can be disputed and invalidated if it is a product of fraud. A will can be declared fraudulent if the testator’s signature is forged.
If the testator lacked capacity
To duly execute a will in Virginia, the testator must be fully aware of what they are doing. If the testator is able to understand the nature of the assets in the will document as well as the purpose for creating and signing the document, then they will be deemed mentally sound. A will can be contested on grounds of lack of capacity if the testator was incapacitated at the time of signing to document.
A will is one of the most important estate planning documents you can ever create. Find out how you can protect your will from a dispute when you are no longer around to clarify your intentions in person.